Amoeblog

Noir Nites At The New Bev

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, September 6, 2009 08:55pm | Post a Comment

This month the New Beverly has put together a couple of impeccable noir nights for September. First up is a Sam Fuller pairing, The Crimson Kimono & Underworld U.S.A. Kimono features great Little Tokyo location shots as well as the trailblazing James Shigeta. His Detective Kojaku character is a true rarity-- an Asian American hero / romantic lead character played by an Asian American!! The following week the New Bev is showing an atomic scare double, featuring the infamous KIss Me Deadly as well as the little known gem City of Fear. KIss Me Deadly is absolute must see; it stars the totally underrated Ralph Meeker in a Mike Hammer role that puts all other attempts to shame. Amazing bachelor pad gagetry & awesome location shots keep the bizarre plot moving at a great pace. City of Fear is yet another Vince Edwards masterpiece featuring more LA location shots, Cobalt, shoe stores and a whole lot of sweat...   



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A Starr is Reborn: Ringo Starr, Thespian

Posted by Charles Reece, September 6, 2009 08:30pm | Post a Comment
Not content with merely playing himself in Hard Day's Night (1964) and Help! (1965), Ringo Starr began to develop his acting chops over the next decade and a half, culminating in his masterpiece, Caveman. As a drummer, he was used to being in the background supporting others, and his acting style was such that he always made everyone else seem a little better. He was a chameleon, the rock and roll Peter Sellers. So here's a look back at some of his finest moments during those cinematic years.

Candy (1968)


As the Mexican gardener Emmanuel, Ringo goes toe-to-toe with Richard Burton in Terry Southern and Buck Henry's free love revision of Voltaire's Candide (based on Mason Hoffenberg's novel)

Magic Christian (1969)


Ringo's second Southern collaboration, an adaptation of the latter's novel of the same name. In this scene, Ringo can be seen with Sellers and a young John Cleese.

200 Motels (1971)

>Examine text adventure - Ask will Generation Text revive the popularity of text-based adventures?

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 6, 2009 02:37pm | Post a Comment
TRS-80

Like silent films, old time radio, male grooming and slide shows, the text-based game is a largely dead art form. Like the other examples, it's uniquely enjoyable and was snuffed out by its flashier, less imaginative offspring in the pursuit of realism and technology. (Don't get me wrong, I think GUIs are la mamá de Tarzán and I even crossed the security line at Xerox PARC on a nerd's tour of historic Silicon Valley to drink from the fountain where the Xerox Alto was born back in 1973.) But the quiet pleasures of text games are enjoyable in their own right and with a whole generation almost incapable of communicating through any means except texting, the text game seems ripe for a comeback.

Eamon screen shot  Zork

Instead of using graphics, text-based games use prose to tell the story. Players type specific commands to such as "go north" to play. A lot of the fun (and frustration) comes from having to type them precisely. For example, if you type "omg go north lol!!!," the computer will reply, "You used the word north in a way I don't understand." It may be frustrating at first to not punctuate every command with "lol," but once you get the hang of it, you'll find text games can be highly addictive. Besides, frustration puts hair on your chest.

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Beatles or Stones?... or Goth-Pop Beatles Covers!?

Posted by Aaron Detroit, September 5, 2009 12:50am | Post a Comment

Beatles Or Stones?” I’m one of those people who is definitely more Rolling Stones than Beatles. That’s not to say there aren’t Fab Four songs or albums I enjoy or even adore (White Album!), but The Stones suit my tastes and aesthetic preferences in music and art much more. The Stones have a classically debaucherous mythos attached to them and their vibe was always darker, nastier and convincingly Satanic compared to their Liverpool rivals.  True: The Beatles certainly had their more nefarious moments (“Helter Skelter,” “Happiness is a Warm Gun,” The Butcher Cover and Aleister Crowley's appeance on the Sgt, Peppers' album sleeve), but I’m definitely more “Paint It Black” than “Good Day Sunshine.”

However, some people still believe The Beatles held the keys to the infernal gates of Hell. Certainly several of my teenage Goth-Pop icons saw a dark thread in the Beatles' work (or maybe it was just their genius for unforgettable melodies – those do help bands cross-over!) Siouxsie Sioux’s devotion to the Fab Four turned out two great covers; first, an incendiary and punked-out “Helter Skelter” on the Banshees’ 1978 debut Scream:



...and the band scored one of their biggest International hits with their lush 1983 reading of “Dear Prudence.”


Banshees’ contemporary Daniel Ash (Bauhaus/Tones on Tail/Love & Rockets) displayed his shine for John, Paul, George and Ringo via a (now somewhat-dated) cover of “Day Tripper” on his 1991 solo album, Coming Down.

The Dutch Rock Conspiracy

Posted by Whitmore, September 4, 2009 11:15pm | Post a Comment

All those conspiracy theories about how we never actually went to the moon, how NASA along with the Defense Intelligence Agency staged everything on a huge soundstage in the Nevada desert and how the three astronauts were actually just in Las Vegas boozing it up and living large while undergoing ‘guilt therapy’ lessons to lie better and feel good about lying better and how this entire madcap moon adventure was a 30 billion dollar swindle to defraud the world and convince everyone, especially the Russians, that we kick ass, just may have gotten a bit of a boost.
 
A moon rock collected from the first manned lunar landing on July 20, 1969 and given to former Dutch Prime Minister Willem Drees as a private gift from then-U.S. ambassador J. William Middendorf, who accompanied the Apollo 11 astronauts, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin, Jr. on a visit to The Netherlands has been analyzed and appears to be nothing more than petrified wood.
 
This treasured piece went on display at Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum Museum after Drees died in 1988; at one point the rock was insured for around $500,000. A new estimate suggests its value to closer to about $70.
 
Recent tests have proved that the moon rock is a fake; Geologists from Amsterdam's Free University said they could tell at a glance the rock was not from the moon. Needless to say NASA and U.S. officials have no explanation for the Dutch discovery.
 
Rijksmuseum Museum spokesperson Xandra van Gelder, said the museum will keep the artifact as a curiosity. “It's a good story, with some questions that are still unanswered,” she said. “We can laugh about it.”
 
Former U.S. ambassador Middendorf in an interview last week said he didn't recall presenting the rock to Drees, but does remember the astronauts visiting the Netherlands as part of their "Giant Leap" goodwill tour. Another odd unanswered question is why Drees would have been given the rock in the first place. In 1969 he would have been 83 years old and had been out of office for over a decade, though he was a national hero who helped rebuild the Netherlands after the Second World War.
 
My favorite lunar spin so far is that the plaque doesn’t actually claim the rock is from the moon, it just says it’s a gift from the astronauts who went to the moon ...

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